Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - February 20th, 2003

WWE Smackdown

February 20th, 2003

Indianapolis, Indiana

WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)

WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 2/6/03)

WWE Cruserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (since 11/17/02)

Commentators: Michael Cole & Tazz

It’s the last show before No Way Out 2003! The Rock is here to start the show ahead of his big rematch with Hulk Hogan. Rock calls out the crowd for booing him and fully leans into working heel. He’s out here for about 10 mins and asks if they REEEEALLY wanna boo him and they seem to want to so he cuts them off from doing his closing catchphrases. He says he will make Hogan his little bitch Sunday and will talk trash to his face whenever he shows up tonight. Pretty wild and weird seeing Rock in this role but hell yeah. 

There’s another box on stage. Heyman has ANOTHER gift from Show to take Taker before they face off on Sunday.

1) Chris Benoit vs. A-Train 

Albert charges Benoit before the bell. This is much shorter than last week, but it’s still stiff and fun. Benoit wins, again.

Match rating - **

Backstage, HOGAN ARRIVES. 

Back from commercial, FUNAKI is trying to get an interview with The Rock. Two men in suits at his locker room door, later deemed as his personal security, stop him from doing so. 

2) Rikishi vs. Johnny Stamboli (w/ Nunzio & Chuck Palumbo) 

Rikishi charges Stamboli on the entrance ramp before the bell. He was attacked by this trio last week so he’s all pissed. Stamboli gets a chance to shine for a sec but mainly fights from underneath before losing. Rikishi gets attacked again after the bell by all three men. 

Benjamin & Haas are backstage hyping up Kurt Angle for his match with Brock Lesnar. 

Eddie & Chavo Guerrero are in Beverly Hills and it’s fucking hilarious. This is a pre taped thing from earlier in the day or something I’m assuming as they’re walking on the sidewalk in a neighborhood talking to a woman and her baby. 

3) Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman vs. Matt Hardy & Shannon Moore

This was fun. Kidman got worked over and Rey got the hot tag. Him & Matt had an awesome exchange per usual before things break down and Matt sneaks the victory. The news also broke that Matt met the 220lb weight requirement after trying to lose weight for weeks so he will get a cruserweight title match against Kidman at No Way Out.

Match rating - **1/4

Nathan Jones does a sit down interview with Michael Cole after weeks of vignettes. Jones says he wants the WWE Title, but first he has unfinished business with “the biggest dog in the yard.” He chokes Michael Cole also.. alright. 

The Undertaker comes out to open his next set of wooden crate gifts from Big Show & Paul Heyman. He opens one and there’s a puppy. He kicks the second one in and Big Show comes out from underneath the ring and chokeslams him.

During the break, Big Show hauled ass from the arena.  

4) Torrie Wilson vs. Nidia (w/ Jamie Noble) - Paddle On a Pole Match 

This stemmed from the bra & panties match last week where Nidia got involved and tried to screw Torrie out of the match. Torrie spanked Nidia post match which leads us here to.. “paddle on a pole” smh. Nidia wins after a minute or two thanks to Jamie Noble distracting Torrie and trying to interfere. Post match, the paddling begins. Dawn Marie joins Noble & Nidia. FUNAKI runs down for the big save and something about him and Torrie together made me pop. 

Hulk Hogan is here! He tries to get into Rock’s locker room, but the personal security won’t allow it.

“No wonder The Rock is parched.. he’s been talking about himself all night.” -Michael Cole

Back from commercial, Hogan heads to the ring. The Rock comes out soon after. Rock says Hogan should be thanking him because the resurgence of Hulkamania is all because of him. Rock says Hogan owes him an apology. The crowd is starting to turn on Rock and buy into him as a heel, even chanting “Rocky sucks” at one point. Hogan says “hell no” when asked if he is going to apologize and goes on a spill about the HULKAMANIACS BROTHER. Rock acts skittish all segment and when Hogan goes to rip his short off, he steps to the apron to create some separation. Rock then says he’s just been trying to rattle Hogan’s cage and doesn’t mean the stuff he’s said. Rock offers a handshake only for him to spit in Hogan’s face when reluctantly attempts to accept it. Rock retreats as Hogan looks on in shock and disgust. 

Cole & Tazz run down the No Way Out card. The theme is EVANESCENCE and mannn this is NOStaLGIC ASF. 

Next, John Cena cuts the infamous promo on Brock where he’s in the kitchen with an Eminem poster in the background. You know the one I’m talking about! “THIS IS JAIL, BROCK, WE INMATES, YOU JUST DROPPED THE SOAP!” 

Brock Lesnar is out next for his billed match against Kurt Angle. Angle gets on the mic when he comes out though and says Brock has to beat both Haas & Benjamin individually first. Brock does just that in a matter of maybe 10 minutes? Angle backs away at first only to get in the ring and the bell rings. Heyman nails Brock with a chair from behind which calls for the bell and the disqualification. Angle tries to choke out Brock, but Brock escapes. Brock goes to F5 Heyman only to get his legs knocked out from under him by Angle. Haas & Benjamin jump back in the ring and it’s a 3 on 1 assault. Angle locks Brock in the ankle lock and HERE COMES EDGE AND CHRIS BENOIT. I FORGOT THEY WERE ALL IN A TRIOS MATCH ON SUNDAY! Great save and great closing segment heading into No Way Out where Team Angle faces Brock/Edge/Benoit.

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